Inside “The End”, Part 10

(Read Part 9 here)

It’s been a year since I learned that Midday Connection (a program on Moody Radio that aired for over 20 years) was ending.  Last summer, I spent my time in my chair, in some shock, mourning the loss of my mission, community, and identity. This summer, I’m mourning these things in different ways.

I spent the winter after Midday Connection ended with a surprisingly busy unemployment season. I filled my days with things that I felt were life-giving: spiritual direction, working at a clothing store, organizing homes, leading retreats. I also spent time in counseling and meeting with my own spiritual directors. I sought out compassionate, wise people and spent as much time as I could with them – even when I wanted to hide away in my depressed fog.

Job hunting was difficult – especially since I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. I poked around, applying for various jobs at different organizations that I liked. Even though it hurt to get a rejection letter (“we’re going a different direction”), there was some relief when I knew that particular door was closed. I have great admiration for people who keep putting themselves out there – applying, interviewing, waiting. It’s *hard* work. My counselor once said with understanding that job hunting is like “working 24/7 at a job that you hate.”

Starting a new job has been energizing, overwhelming, both confidence-building and confidence-crushing. I’m often lonely, trying to not compare my unique Midday Connection team with my new team. I tell myself daily, “This is just going to take time.”

This grieving thing is hard work. And it’s still there a year later. Recently, someone asked me, “So, you have a new job, you’ve sold your house to live closer to work – things are looking up! Can you now see that this was all worth it and you’re better for it?” I wanted to cheerfully respond, “Absolutely!” But, instead I could only honestly say, “I’m not there yet.”

I anticipate that I’ll be in the “not yet” for quite a while. But, I’m so grateful for the glimpses of connection with new coworkers, excitement of selling our home and finding a new one, getting closer to finding my stride at work with my new responsibilities.  There’s so much that I’ve gained in this year – and I’m grateful. And sad. And grateful. And sad. And grateful…